The new Soft Serve EP, Trap Door, is a whirlwind of guitar. The project is almost 17 minutes of solos, bass lines, riffs and drums, which all combine magnificently to create a very well done release. This is the band’s third outing after their Sink Deep EP and self-titled album. While Trap Door matches the quality of Soft Serve’s full length, it also exhibits a much greater range of sounds and styles.
Moving from song to song, the album goes up in tempo. Throughout the opener, “Whisper in the Wind,” guitars and effects float in out. Yet, the song remains cohesive as the rhythm is grounded by a powerful bass line. Similarly, “Soft Soap,” the final track on the EP, further illustrates Soft Serve’s ability to maintain levels of high energy. Though only instrumental, this track is marked by excellent guitar solos over a taut bass line. The solo halfway through the song is particularly gripping.
Similarly, the guitar really shines on the album highlight “Pat’s Pub Open Blues Jam” with a simple bass line and riff that draws you further and further into the song. Despite this hypnotic whirlpool of guitar, the rhythm is never lost, as the song is tethered to some crisp, no nonsense drums. This track also has some of the most interesting and thought provoking lyrics on the album, “I’ve been thinking / I spend most of my life thinking / I’ve been dreaming / I spend too much time awake just dreaming /… / I’ve been believing / that there is something out there that I can believe in.”
Building upon the contemplative “Pat’s Pub Open Blues Jam”, the following track, “Phantasm,” begins slow and thoughtful. Then, driven by a lovely few notes, the pace picks up. Like its predecessor, this track has affecting lyrics. During “Phantasm,” we hear about the lose of a friend and how this devastation leaves only hurt. As if permitting space to think about such subjects, the song begins sluggish and introspective. Soft Serve then blasts the music again as if the pain of lose engulfs your every thought, leaving you with little room to think.
Overall, Trap Door is comprised of marvellous guitar music. The strongest aspect is how the music and the lyrics enhance each other. “Pat’s Pub Open Blues Jam,” for example, utilizes a stop and go feel which matches the optimistic theme of the lyrics. I’m not sure what the title Trap Door is in reference too, but the album certainly encloses you in a trap of guitar laden hooks, which keep you listening over and over again.